Monday, October 17, 2011


Hi friends!

I have a fun activity to post later this week - I think it'll be really illuminating and we'll all learn a lot about fats and oils!

In the meantime, I'm asking for help...

Do you know any interesting metabolic or genetic disorders that I could use for my biochemistry case studies? I want to teach my students to think independently and come up with crazy ideas. My goal is to set-up online discussion boards that facillitate student discussion, crazy ideas, and problem solving. The students will them write up a document that explains the basis of the disorder. I want to use some fun, obscure disorders that they can't just find on the internet.

Some that I am currently planning on using:

1) Vitamin A deficiency and curable blindness

2) Methanol poisoning

3) Maple syrup disorder (great idea from Romila!).

Now what interesting diseases/disorders have you heard of? You don't need to know how they work...I can usually find that out...but if you know of anything super cool, it'd be awesome to hear your ideas!


  1. Haha, I'm sorry I'd be no help here! I loved biology in high school, and I took a couple of intro courses in university, but I'm in social science now and can't think of any metabolic disorders, let alone interesting ones!

    Good luck with your student discussion project - it sounds like a great, interactive idea :D

  2. I have one, which is actually affecting my partner. Not sure if it's helpful for you, but I would be interested in what you think and if you can help me understand it further!

    He sometimes gets a fuzzy patch right in front of his vision. No pain, just a blurred patch, as if he needs glasses but just in that one "hole". This slowly expands to surround his vision; then he can see through the centre of this hole in perfect focus, but he's lost his peripheral vision. It's in both eyes at the same time, and has happened maybe 4 times over the last year.

    Immediately we thought the worst, because it was in both eyes at the same time. Turns out it's an ocular migraine. This site tells us more, and the little .gif they have is what he sees exactly, apparently!

    It's harmless, but we would love to know what on earth is causing it! Apparently it's linked to diet - caffeine especially.

    Please let me know if that's any good?

    Thank you and best of luck!